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Which one of the following is correct?

  • He is making wastage of time.
  • He is making a wastage of time.
  • He is doing a wastage of time.
  • He is doing wastage of time.

I just wanted to know whether "do" is used with "wastage" or "make" is used with "wastage, like "make mistake" is correct English but "do mistake" is not. I searched on Google and found both usages(make wastage & do wastage), but I couldn't figure out which one is correct, or both of them are correct or incorrect. Precisely speaking, my question is about using "make" or "do" with "wastage". Let me know if both of them are incorrect or correct.

  • 2
    It's not obvious to me that a learner could easily establish the fact that idiomatically a wastage of is almost non-existent by comparison with a waste of. And I don't think an answer saying "none of OP's alternatives are correct" really addresses the issue, so I'm voting to reopen. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 31 '15 at 19:00
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    @Gurpreet: If the question gets reopened, perhaps someone else can explain in more detail why the noun phrase a waste of time is normally governed by a copula, as in "What he is doing is a waste of time". And why we invariably use waste rather than wastage in such constructions. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 31 '15 at 19:07
  • @Fumble - Actually, I think wastage is a rarely used word in just about any context, save perhaps for technical works. Interesting Ngram here. Also, I clicked on the link that shows usages in books; it was remarkable how many of those hits appeared to be by Indian authors, like this one by Dr. Mukesh Chauhan: Just like there is such a thing as energy efficiency or saving to prevent the wastage of vital energy, equally this applies to the soul. Could this be Indian Engish? – J.R. Jan 31 '15 at 19:23
  • (cont.) I wouldn't say, "to prevent the wastage of vital energy," I'd say, "to conserve energy," or, "to not waste energy." – J.R. Jan 31 '15 at 19:25
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    @ColleenV, Stephie: I don't say this is a great question. But offhand I couldn't say whether there might be some "rule of thumb" for usage in many cases where the -age suffix unambiguously designates a noun (shortage, shrinkage, storage, stoppage, etc.). I think it may be relevant to take on board what J.R. says about "many of those hits appeared to be by Indian authors". If that's really true it may well represent a genuine problem for those learners whose native tongue tends to steer them towards certain "non-idiomatic" forms in English. It's about why, not what do we say. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 31 '15 at 21:14
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None of those seem correct to me. I would say "He is wasting time."

2

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/wastage?s=t does indeed have "wastage of time" in one of its examples. I don't know why they think that's worth using in a #2 definition. That's a very unusual usage of it, in my experience! I generally hear or read "wastage" used more in the sense of #4, waste materials, or as "wasted materials." As in, "This process has less wastage than the older one; we save money by reducing wastage."

In any case, as the Square Cow said, the term "He is wasting time" is the option to use if you want to be understood and not seem to be using an ironic, "business-speak" turn of phrase. (Which is, indeed, what that #2 example is: business-speak. Which is sometimes its very own dialect of English, not to be confused with how people speak normally.)

  • It is indeed an unusual example usage in that dictionary definition. Particularly given the "Usage note" they give later: Waste and wastage are to some extent interchangeable, but many people think that wastage should not be used to refer to loss resulting from human carelessness, inefficiency, etc: a waste (not a wastage) of time/money/effort etc – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Feb 1 '15 at 14:26

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